Centaurea montana 'Gold Bullion'
Common Name: perennial cornflower
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Asteraceae
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 0.75 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: Blue
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Colorful
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Drought, Dry Soil

Culture

Easily grown in average, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Drought tolerant. Tolerant of poor soils. Can spread somewhat rapidly by stolons to form colonies in optimum growing conditions, particularly in rich fertile soils which should be avoided and in cool northern climates where it is more robust. Remove spent flower stalks after bloom. Sparse rebloom in late summer-early fall may occur. Plants need to be divided every 2-3 years.

'Gold Bullion' needs full sun for best golden foliage color.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Centaurea montana is an erect, stoloniferous, clump-forming perennial which features solitary, fringed, rich blue cornflowers (2" diameter) with reddish blue centers and black-edged involucre bracts. Flowers appear in late spring atop unbranched stems typically growing 1-2' tall. Gray-green, lance-shaped lower leaves to 7" long. Commonly called mountain bluet, perennial cornflower or perennial bachelor's button.

Genus name comes from the Greek word kentauros meaning centaur.

Specific epithet means pertaining to mountains.

'Gold Bullion', as the name suggests, is a golden-leaved cultivar. It features solitary, fringed, rich blue cornflowers (2" diameter) with reddish blue centers and black-edged involucre bracts. Flowers appear in late spring atop stems typically growing 1-2' tall. Lance-shaped lower leaves to 7" long. Foliage is golden yellow, unless grown in too much shade wherein it fades to an inferior lime green.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Rust, aster yellows, stem rot and mildew are occasional problems.

Garden Uses

Best massed in border fronts, cottage gardens or naturalized areas.